I've been creating some courses around the subject of personal knowledge management (PKM). One aspect of my own lifelong learning system that I didn't address comprehensively in those modules is the subject of podcasts.
Below are the podcasts I find most integral to my PKM system.
NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me
This podcast entertains my husband and I each week, as they review the week's news in a light-hearted, humorous way. I look forward to listening to it more than any other podcast I subscribe to…
One of the best compliments I've received in the last year on my course evaluations is that I have a way of keeping up with current and relevant news related to my courses and making that information engaging and digestible. I credit Marketplace as one of the primary sources I use in making course content relatable and timely.
Slate's Political Gabfest
Another podcast I look forward to hearing each week is the political gabfest. They review three key political news stories or issues from the past week and end the episode with their recommendations of things listeners should check out. The hosts are entertaining and informative, and don't try to pretend they are neutral on the issues. This is intelligent and informative listening, though may not be as enjoyable for those who are more conservative in your political views.
Dan Pink's Office Hours
The guests that Dan Pink brings in for his office hours are engaging and informative, around topics important to both business people and educators. The subjects he explores tend to be more timeless than some of the other podcasts recommended here, so I encourage you to go back and take a listen to some of his older episodes, if you check out his show. A good place to start is his interview with author Tom Rath, who discusses his book: Eat, Move, Sleep. (http://www.danpink.com/office-hours/tom-rath/)
NPR's Planet Money
If a podcast like Planet Money had been around when I was in college, it just may have persuaded me to major in economics. Consuming this podcast makes a listener more informed on economic issues, but also in how to make them more relatable to the general public. Hardly does an episode go by that doesn't make me wiser about how money works. There are plenty of older episodes worth listening to, as well.
WYNC's Radio Lab
I wish I could remember when I was first introduced to Radio Lab. Based on my dismal interest in science, I can confidently state that it wasn't because someone told me about a great science podcast. This is a great listen for those of us who haven't had much of an interest in the subject, but enjoy being told fascinating, unexpected stories of how things work. One of my favorite, all-time episodes was one on unintended consequences (http://www.radiolab.org/story/91721-oops/). The story about a tree (I don't want to give too much away) still has stayed with me since it originally aired.
Dave Stachowiak's Coaching for Leaders
Full disclosure here: I'm married to the guy who hosts this show and have been a frequent guest on past shows. However, all bias aside, Dave has explored some great topics and had fantastic guests. Two of my favorite episodes have been:
How to lead in a crisis: http://coachingforleaders.com/podcast/how-to-lead-in-a-crisis/
Susan Cain on the power of introverts:
In addition to airing a weekly podcast, he also has a weekly newsletter that I find quite helpful in reflecting on leadership development.
WBEZ's This American Life
It's hard to know even how to classify This American Life. It is a podcast of stories, most of which are true (non-fiction), though they do sometimes feature short works of fiction from some terrific writers. Each week focuses on a theme. They have their own list of favorites featured on their website:
I listen almost weekly, unless the theme for the week doesn't stand out to be something of interest to me.
The Mac Power Users
For those of you who use a Mac computer, you'll be hard pressed to find a better weekly resource to keep your skills sharp. Don't let the podcast's title scare you off if you don't consider yourself a techy. They make some of the more intermediate and advanced features and workflows on a Mac accessible for anyone willing to experiment a little.
Harvard Business Review spreads ideas each week through their HBR ideacast. They have researchers and authors visit to describe their latest work. They keep their episodes short (usually around 15 minutes), so it makes for a great listen for those who have shorter commutes.
Slate's Lexicon Valley
I'm more interested in language than ever, as our toddler son expands his use of words daily. I won't likely listen to Lexicon Valley in front of him at this stage, though, as he is in a phase of repeating everything we say and they occasionally use some choice words on the show. Their diverse topics surrounding language are fascinating and the hosts are funny and intelligent. I don't always listen to every episode, but tend to pick based on what's being discussed.
My current and former colleagues, Prof. David Pecoraro and Dr. Daniel de Roulet host the Student Caring podcast with their central mission being to promote greater caring in the field of higher ed. Their passion for leveraging the power of higher education for creating positive change in the world is infectious. You can learn more about their work on their website and find out about their latest book project.
This is Your Life
Michael Hyatt takes his executive experience in the publishing business and provides tools for each of us to lead more productive lives and to have a greater sense of purpose. Most episodes are just Michael providing his guidance and approach, though he has occasionally had on guests. In addition to his podcast, his website has a host of tools and resources
Slate's Mom and Dad are Fighting
While I don't love the name of this podcast, Slate's recent addition of a parenting-oriented podcast has been welcomed. Since the two hosts each have different-aged children and they include guests on a regular basis, listeners give diverse perspectives on parenthood. They celebrate parenting triumphs and mourn parenting fails on each episode, a particularly entertaining part of each episode.
Believe it or not, I've actually left some podcasts off the list above, which I listen to regularly. This is a curated list, though as I look at it, I probably could do some deleting of those subscriptions that aren't on this list, or did make it on to the list but aren't providing me with as consistent of quality as some of the others are. The good news is that there's plenty of great stuff to listen to on the podcasting airwaves…
What about you? What are some of your favorite podcasts? Please leave a comment below, so we can all have some good listening suggestions.
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